INTERVIEW: Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend Project

Transcendence is the latest album from the Devin Townsend Project and in many ways it feels like a culmination of musical explorations that Devin begun in 2009 with Addicted! and that flowed through Epicloud and Sky Blue. It’s alternatingly melodic and crushing, ethereal and imposing, and in true Devin fashion it’s an album that reveals more about itself on each subsequent listen.

I love the new record. Y’know how every now and then an album comes along that’s just what you needed to hear at that point in time? 

That’s awesome. Thank you, Peter. It’s a special one for me in a lot of ways, and especially the latter half. The processes that went into it and the challenges that came into it, the control issues, letting go of things and trying to participate with other people and be analytical and aware enough of myself that I could call myself on my own shit is one thing. But it also coincided with what feels like a real tangible shift in my own psyche. Now, whether or not that was because of the fact that I took myself on vacation for the first time in my life, or something to do with age, or something to do with circumstances I’m not sure. But something shifted at the same time as the latter half of this record and now I find myself in a place that is new and foreign in a lot of ways and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Adrian Belew

Adrian Belew

The Crimson ProjeKCt is a King Crimson offshoot featuring three current members of that historic, nay, iconic band – Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto – along with Julie Slick, Tobias Ralph and Markus Reuter. And a typical Crimson ProjeCKt concert is a marathon of musical might which shifts through many moods and configurations. Belew explains: “What happens is this: Stick Men (Levin, Mastelotto and Reuter) play a set of their music (which includes a Crimson track or two), then the Power Trio (Belew, Slick, Ralph) plays a set of my music (which also includes a Crimson track), then Tony and Pat and I play a Crimson song (as yet another trio), and then comes the big finale: both trios play more than an hours-worth of Crimson music as a double trio! It’s a helluva show!” And the group is coming to Australia and New Zealand to spread their particular brand of musical majesty in June and July, with shows in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Between The Buried And Me’s Paul Waggoner

1381677_10151903073093189_1228305233_nBetween The Buried And Me’s critically acclaimed concept album The Parallax II: Future Sequence is a modern classic of progressive metal, swinging through various musical moods and sonic settings while miraculously bringing the band into more cohesion, which is no mean feat given their reputation for eclecticism. It’s the continuation of the band’s 2011 EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, and they’ll be playing it across Australia this month. Joining them on the tour are US Prog Metal alchemists The Contortionist, who combine influences of Rush, Dream Theater, Cynic and even BTBAM and mix it all up with their own personality, a frenzy of warped time signatures, percussive mathematics, spider-fingered fretwork, dazzlingly atmospheric keyboards and arresting vocals. In short, this tour will be an incredible opportunity to see a stunning, virtuosic night of musicianship. I caught up with Between The Buried And Me guitarist Paul Waggoner ahead of this unprecedentedly progtastic tour. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Periphery’s Misha & Jake

It’s been a year since we checked in with Periphery and in that time the mighty djent machine has grown and evolved at a rapid, startling rate. In the wake of a successful tour with Dream Theater, Periphery’s place as the centrepiece of the djent movement is now firmly established. It’s a genre characterised by heavy syncopated riffs, punchy mid-heavy guitar tones, the use of extended range instruments, clean-to-scream vocals and some of the most outrageous lead guitar work ever committed to hard disc, and Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal builds on the strengths of the band’s self-titled debut in every way. It’s more melodic, yet more extreme. There are more shredding solos but more moments of guitaristic introspection too. More colourful and dramatic. I Heart Guitar caught up with Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen to talk shop.

Last time we talked, you said you were planning two albums, one of which would be a concept album. Is this still the plan?

Misha: I think we had a lot of expectations, and I guess our gut reaction to that is to just say ‘fuck it’ and do whatever we want. What we’d originally hoped would happen was that we’d get a tonne of time off to just write. We’re at a point where there are so many ideas. All was going to plan but then we got a Dream Theater tour offer smack in the middle of that session. It kinda came to a decision. And no matter what, you never turn down a Dream Theater tour! Read More …